Monday, January 05, 2009

Singing the Praises of A Christmas Carol

I'm currently reading A Christmas Carol. And loving it. I'd like to say, "I've forgotten how much I loved this book when I first read it way back when." But, alas, I don't remember loving it. I don't remember even kind of liking it. I only remember that back in grade school I was forced to read it along with 25 other grade school student so that I could pass the test.

But then again, I can't say that I'm reading it on my own now. I'm being forced into it. Again. Only this time not by my school teacher but by a bunch of middle school kids. It's the book chosen by our middle school reading club and I'm the leader.

I wasn't looking forward to it, remembering only less-than-love for it as a youngster. Now I'm so glad that the kids picked it for January.

If you haven't picked it since childhood you really oughta give it a consider. And don't keep it to yourself. Read it out loud. I'm amazed at how well it rolls off the tongue. Charles Dickens has a good sense of humor. I'm actually having fun reading it aloud.

But then again, I am a bit of a geek when it comes to books.


Alice Gunther said...

My husband has been reading this aloud to the children during Advent for at least eight years now (since before the oldest could quite understand it!)

It always makes me laugh and cry. Dickens was a genius and knew so much about human nature. Truly a work of art.

Maureen said...

Alice -- What a wonderful tradition! I'd like to do that starting next Advent. Hopefully, I can remember between now and then.

Margaret Mary Myers said...

Dickens grows on you, Maureen. When I was in high school and had to read A Tale of Two Cities, I hated it. When I was nursing my first baby, I read something by Dickens again and didn't like it. The next time I read Dickens again, a few years later, I liked the book and wondered why I didn't use to like them. Then I started to really love Dickens and his characterizations, understanding of human nature, creativity, etc. and to read all his books. But be careful, Maureen, I always like to say that's where I got my long-winded writing. :)

Shirley said...

We have a large volume of the various Christmas stories by Dickens. I try to read one aloud to/with the children each Advent season. Even the ones that are not as easily understood (by me at least!) -because the context refers to social problems specific to the times in mid-1800s London - are still wonderful.

I agree his writing does just seem to roll off the tongue (even more than 100 yrs later when the language of today is so different). I don't think that's by accident... Dickens read his Christmas stories aloud on public reading tours!

Colleen Wheat said...

There is a nonfiction book regarding the writing of "A Christmas Carol" called something like, "The True Story of Christmas; The Writing of A Christmas Carol" I cannot recall the exact title, however, I just read it and it was very interesting, telling the story behind Dickens writing the classic story. You might be interested, if you have time.....

Maureen said...

Thank you ladies!

Colleen Wheat said...

The man who invented Christmas : how Charles Dickens's A Christmas carol rescued his career and revived our holiday spirits
Standiford, Les.

The above is the title and author of the book of which I was writing earlier, since I was so vague. Sorry about the delay between my brain and typing. Some days things click and some days.....not so much! :-)

Kris said...

There's also Chesterton on Dickens, entitled simply Charles Dickens. It's supposed to be the book that revived Dickens and alerted literary scholars to him, according to the American Chesterton Society. It's on my To Read list, anyway.